As with all things, once you know you have access to the cookie jar, you can get what you want. The CEOs all get these great payouts because the board of directors agrees to it. Why? Because then the CEO can give them nice big Director fee checks. So the CEO gets the cookies and shares them with his friends. As long as the stock goes up, the stockholders will look the other way too. "It is all the cost of doing business," they will say. Everyone but the workers and customers win.